Yesterday I decided that I need to actively deal with Kestrel’s cat obsession. While I still think it will diminish (hopefully extinguish) when she starts working stock, that’s going to still be several months off. Even if I had access to sheep right now, she’s still too young to start. When she’s around cats, she just focuses on them and stops interacting with me. I can easily engage her with a toy or call her too me, so she’s not that zoned out. But I’m starting to get really irritated when I come home and, instead of greeting me, she starts looking around for the cats who always come to the door when they hear me. Or when I hang out in the house, she just sits under the kitchen table, staring at the cats on the chairs.
So yesterday I decided she is going to be cut off from the cats for a while. That means having her put up a lot more, and having to lock my cats away when she’s out. I am also putting a blanket over her crate when she’s in it as otherwise she obsessively looks for the cats while put up.
I’ve been doing this for about 36 hours and am already seeing a difference in her. This evening she greeted me when I came in (although was still looking around for the cats) and right now she’s hanging out in the living room with me and the other three dogs for the first time. Tonight she actively sought me out and as I type, she’s pestering me to play. Yeah!
I’m glad to see this change so quickly. I thought it would take longer, but I’m certainly not complaining! I will need to build her interest in being with me and looking to me for entertainment before I can let her be around cats again. Ideally I should wait until she’s working stock, but I’m not sure I’ll have the patience to keep my house split up for that long. We’ll see!